Talking tech since 2003

Early this morning, I cut the cord and said goodbye to cable.

For at least a year.

My motivations for doing so may be different than they are for others. This wasn’t done out of a dislike for TV. It also wasn’t done to save money. My reasons have more to do with my TV viewing habits; more specifically, the fact that I’m rarely watching live TV. It’s usually Netflix, or Prime, or HBO GO, or something recorded on my DVR.

tvThe truth is, if my DVR allowed me to take my recordings with me and watch them on my iPhone or iPad, I’d probably still have cable TV. But since that’s not possible, and I don’t want to pay for cable and individual TV episodes, something has to give. And that something is going to be cable.

Again, for at least a year.

The Rules

As I stated previously, I’m not really doing this to save money. That means that I’m okay with equaling what my cable bill would have been after my promotion expired: so, somewhere around $135 after taxes, fees, and equipment charges.

I’ll be purchasing some equipment to take advantage of free over-the-air television: a digital converter box (so that I can use live TV with my Xbox One), and an outdoor antenna. These are pretty much for football season (NEED football). I’m still shopping around for these.

As far as TV shows are concerned, I’ll be buying season passes for the ones I watch solely through iTunes. This is beneficial in two ways: I’ll actually have my own digital copy of every episode (you don’t get that with cable), and I’ll be able to put them on my iPhone or iPad and watch them without using up any data.

Preliminary Calculations

My estimated bill for just Internet service is about $80 per month. Add Netflix to that and it becomes around $88. Over a year, that’s roughly $1,056.

My previous cable TV and Internet package was set to run me about $135 per month. With Netflix (which I had on top of everything), I was paying almost $143 for TV and movies. That’s about $1,716 per year.

Cutting cable TV out means I have around $660 per year to play with. I’m bound to save some of that — I don’t watch THAT much TV — but it adds an average of $55 per month to work with in terms of paying for TV shows.

Example: An iTunes Season Pass for the final season of Mad Men rings up at $34.99. If you divide that by 12, you could look at it as though you’re paying around $2.92 per month to not just watch, but actually own digital copies of every episode. If every show’s pass was the same price as Mad Men’s, you could afford to subscribe to 18 TV shows.

I don’t even know if I can name 18 TV shows, much less watch that many. So, chances are, I’m going to save a good chunk of money without even trying.

Check Back Next Week

I plan on making my journey through this Year Without Cable a weekly update. Next week, I should know what I’m going to subscribe to, so I’ll be able to fill you all in on what my costs are going to be. I’ll also be searching for some ways to get the other shows I watch that aren’t available on iTunes.

Cord cutters: do you have any tips? Feel free to leave them below.

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